Spotlight: Eric Frisch

By Kelly K. James


Eric FrischMountains are meant to be climbed. Just ask attorney, mediator, and mountaineer Eric Frisch.


The term “mountaineering” includes mountain sports — think hiking, backpacking, ice climbing, rock climbing, and Alpine climbing — except for skiing and snowboarding. Eric’s been “doing mountaineering stuff” for more than 10 years.


“I wanted to climb Mt. Everest by the time I was 40, and I got to go to Everest Base Camp in 2011,” he says. He’s also summited Kilimanjaro in 2013, and Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe and Russia, in 2019. “I’ve been to four of the Seven Summits [the seven highest mountains on the seven continents], have attempted three, and climbed two,” he says. He has Denali on his radar next.


He didn’t expect to find a passion for mountaineering; it seems to have found him. “I went down to Ecuador for a mountaineering class in 2016 to learn some of this stuff and started doing some ice climbing,” says Eric. “I met a couple of people — one from Atlanta and one from New York—and the next thing I know I’m doing a Washington course in mountaineering, and then I was rock climbing, and learning more advanced skills, and buying more stuff than I know what to do with … this year has been more about work but I am stoked to spend time in the freezing cold weather with metal in my hand.”


Learning to “Speak Medicine”

Away from the mountain, Eric is known for his expertise in health care, professional liability, and elder care law, and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants.


He worked for a small law firm for five years before joining Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell. “At the time, the trial lawyer was looking for a medical malpractice attorney, and I said, I’ll do anything if you give me a job,’” recalls Eric. “I went down and took a “mini-med” school at Emory and spent a lot of time at the Emory library, teaching myself how to ‘speak medicine.” Today more than 75 percent of his work as an attorney involves health care malpractice cases; he also handles legal malpractice cases.


Adding Mediation to his Repertoire

While he has participated in hundreds of mediations as an attorney, Eric took mediation training in 2020, during the pandemic, and arbitration training in 2021. He’s been mediating cases since late 2022 and is excited about continuing to build his alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice.


“I’ve been participating in the ADR process my entire career and there have been four or five prominent mediators who everyone went to for health care cases,” says Eric. “Those folks are getting older, and there needs to be a succession plan. I’m at an age and a vintage where I’ve tried enough cases and know enough about the medicine and legal interactions and the landscape of medical malpractice in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the country to become ‘generation 2.’


“The reason cases are well-suited to mediation is simple: damages, exposure, and risk. The damages in these cases are high and have been for several years now and there is a changing risk profile, and this applies to everybody — defendants and plaintiffs as well,” he says. “Our jury pool is made up of people who vote in elections, and we know how difficult it is to predict the outcome of elections. That translates into the courtroom. What used to be predictable has become unpredictable.


“Because of the pandemic, we have had so little control over when cases got tried,” he adds. “I have cases that I’ve been waiting for five years to get on the trial calendar.”


He reminds attorneys that mediation is not the same as trial. “You need the right mindset going into a mediation,” he says. “You’re not trying your case at mediation. You’re mediating your case toward a negotiation. You don’t need a tear-jerker speech from the plaintiff or the argument that you’re going to a jury. The situation requires different advocacy and that requires a different mindset.”


When not working, or mountaineering, Eric also writes about the law on his blog, enjoys watching soccer, and cheering on Atlanta United.




Miles Mediation & Arbitration is shaping the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry with our comprehensive professional services model that combines the expertise of our highly skilled, diverse panel of neutrals with an unparalleled level of client support to guide and empower parties to fair, timely, and cost-effective resolution regardless of case size, specialization, or complexity. For more information, please call 888-305-3553 or email